How to Select and Care for Poinsettia Plants

Every year I buy poinsettia plants and every year they look awful by the time Christmas comes. What am I doing wrong? How do I pick a good poinsettia and how do I care for it?

Hi Sandy,

Red poinsettia plant
Poinsettia Plant

Selecting the right poinsettia is definitely the first step in having a poinsettia last for weeks and even months. Many people mistakenly think the colorful bracts are the flower petals of the plant. Although these bracts are quite attractive they are not part of the flowers. The real flowers are quite inconsequential and are located inside the small yellow center part of the Poinsettia. These real flowers should be barely open, and there should be no pollen on the bracts of the plant.  Ideally there should be green leaves all the way to the soil line. The plant should be well balanced and not top heavy. Once you’ve chosen the right poinsettia, then you need to care for it properly.

Great gift for plant loving friends who want to learn which houseplants are poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.